Top 5 Marketing Trends Authors Should Not Overlook
Sometimes, marketing your book can be harder than writing it. There are so many different strategies out there that it can quickly become confusing and overwhelming. At The Book Shelf, we’ve compiled a list of book marketing trends that will help you as an author gain a greater understanding of what’s hot right now and how to make sure your book achieves maximum reach.
Over the last couple of years, podcasting has become extremely popular with all audiences. It’s now a go-to for the publishing industry, and it’s a great way for writers to gain exposure without even having to leave the house for author events. Podcasting is especially important for nonfiction authors, who can use it to share their ideas and work with people with similar interests.
You can reach out to other podcasters to see whether they’d like to include you as a guest, or you can create your own podcast. Either way, it’s great for promoting your book, talking about your research process, and generating a wider readership for the future.
In fact, we’ll be launching our own podcast soon, so stay tuned!
#2. Social media
The rise of social media has made visual marketing an even more important tool for authors. We live in an aesthetic-focused world, so why not exploit this to promote your work? The key is finding a couple of social media platforms that you feel comfortable with and focusing on finding your target audience there, rather than being tempted to try all platforms — you’ll only end up feeling overstretched.
Start by following people you want to interact with, then create some content. Depending on the brand you want to build, you can really go wild with it or focus on becoming a go-to person for information on a specialist subject. There’s a variety of things you can do to build a following, from creating videos to participating in trends and challenges. You can also always link people back to your website and books.
The simple rule: the more active and consistent you are on social media, the more you’ll be noticed!
#3. Influencer marketing
There’s a lesser-known area of social media that you can make use of to build connections and reach out to potential readers across the world: book influencers. Like other influencers, they have gained huge followings and readers listen to their recommendations on bookstagram and BookTok. Industry spokespeople and well-known authors are also active in these communities.
If you want to leverage their reach, message them and find out what they require; some influencers want payment, so it’s worth having a budget in mind before you get in touch. They can help your work be more visible to readers interested in your genre and topic, so sometimes it can be worth paying for this.
#4. Collaborating with other authors
The pandemic has taught the publishing industry many lessons, the main one being that we can still collaborate and work together despite physical distance. As an author, it’s vital to expand your circle and network with others. Cross-promotion and combining forces with three or four other authors is a great way to grow your readership.
Whether you all agree to promote each other’s work on social media or in email newsletters, collabs can broaden your reach. You could create videos of each other’s books, set up fun Zoom events such as a combined book launch, or use Instagram and Facebook livestreams to interact with other authors and readers.
It’s all about finding inventive ways to attract audiences and work with other like-minded authors to create opportunities for your books.
#5. Amazon ads
Nonfiction authors can benefit from Amazon ads and retailer promotions. The New York Times reported that Amazon controls 50% of all book distribution and for some industry suppliers, this figure is much higher — around 70–80%.
There are advantages and disadvantages to Amazon’s monopoly on the book market. If you don’t use the right tools and promote your book when it’s launched, it will be lost in their endless stream of books. But if you choose the right keywords and categories, your sales should go up.
Categories are the primary source of visibility on Amazon, so it’s important to think about which ones your book fits into before publishing it You should also educate yourself on their algorithms and make sure you’re ready when it’s time for the launch. If you need help with Amazon keywords, categories, or adverts, get in touch!
You may think that once your book is written and published, you can sit back and relax, but that’s unfortunately not the case. Marketing your book is just as, if not more, vital as getting it published. Social media, podcasts, collaborations, and Amazon optimisation are all key aspects of getting your work noticed and growing your readership.
Marketing is all about trial and error, so if one strategy doesn’t work for you, try another. It’s important to have a variety of tools available so you can gain your maximum reach, but don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to do everything. Work smarter, not harder.